Remembering Count Pugsly
The above photo changed my life. I first saw it in an issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland, and I thought it was the coolest vampire I had ever seen. The image took on mystical qualities when I learned it was from one of Chaney;s "lost" films. When, as a teenager, I got my first job, it was working for a weird museum, then called Jones' Fantastic Show, then later called Jones' Fantastic Museum. My job was to wear a cloak with the name of the museum on the back and a series of rubber masks. Then I found a wig in the box that was filled with masks, and the idea came to me to begin doing a vampire makeup based on Chaney's. Thus was Count Pugsly born.
This was a great job for a kid who was obsessed with Universal and Hammer horror films! I was determined, as a kid, that my professional occupation would be an actor in horror films. Thus, when I was in costume as ye Count, I never broke character, and my vampyr persona really "got" to people. One of the great things about the museum was that we had a chamber of horror, and I would sometimes pose in some dark corner, pretending to be one of the many weird mannequins that the museum contained. People would come close to investigate me, and then I would slowly move and totally freak them out.
Count Pugsly became a famous local figure, often appearing in newspapers and such.
and there were even some artistic interpretations
I even had a girlfriend in high school who grooved on the vampire look.
I purchased a new wig and hat when I was serving as a Mormon missionary in Las Vegas, after being transferred from the Ireland Mission due to health concerns.
One of my happiest days was when I picked up an issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland #69. Lon Chaney Sr. was on ye cover as his infamous vampire
A filmbook of LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT was ye main feature. And Uncle Forry had dedicated the issue -- to me!
and there, below ye dedication, was a photo of Count Pugsly. Pretty damn rad.
The hat and wig have deteriorated and been tossed. I keep thinking I might find new ones so as to do some YouTube videos as Pugsly. I still have the original cloak that I wore at the museum. What a wonderful prelude, that job was, to becoming an underground horror author.